Autism Signs Detectable before Baby Reaches Age 1: Study [VIDEO]By Avery Robbins, UniversityHerald Reporter
Scientists are now able to detect autism risk in babies, at the earliest stage. A recent study performed MRI scans on 150 children for three times at the age of six months, one year and two years.
The team found that there were brain changes during each screening that can spot the autism symptoms once they reached two years old. Senior author Dr. Joseph Piven and his team conducted a few testings, including the surface area, the cerebral cortex and the size differences in each screening.
The result has proven that autism symptoms can be detected much earlier, with 80 percent of accuracy. The brains developed by children with autism looked different from those with normal condition. There is a big expansion in the brains of infants with autism, that its nerve cells grow rapidly between six and 12 months.
The research is a groundbreaking finding since previous studies only recorded the brain size shifts but did not track the brain's growth of the same infants until they're diagnosed.
The study which has been published in Nature, however, suggests a further research on a larger group of infants. The team has already applied more funds for the study to find out more about the brain changes using the imaging technology.
Cynthia Schumann, an autism expert, gave a commentary on the excellent finding - stating that it only applies to babies with high-risk of autism, such as a newborn child whose older sibling has been diagnosed with autism.
The finding is beneficial for detecting autism symptoms much earlier so doctors can provide more effective treatments, especially for high-risk babies.